The other day, the  Hartford Courant ran an article about seeing the state, one beer at a time:  Questing.  The article described a Simsbury couple’s five-year effort to drink a beer in each of the state’s 169 towns.  Katie Martin and Chris Drew plan to complete their quest in North Haven on September 16.

They prefer drinking at breweries whenever possible, but not every town has a brewery, so they sometimes settle for pubs, bars, or restaurants with liquor licenses.

Chris Drew actually is working on another quest:  He’s run races in 156 towns, and when he’s done he’ll be a member of something called the “Run 169 Towns Society.”

The couple is encouraging others to quest, too.  There are plenty of other themes:  an ice cream in every town, a round of golf or miniature golf, a hike, a pizza, a historic church, a public library.  No doubt dispensaries are next.

The idea got me thinking that it would be a lot easier for people to complete these quests if, you guessed it, some towns merged.  If each of Waterbury, Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport merged with several surrounding towns (an eminently good idea that I won’t bore you with today), we could reduce the number of towns on a quest by 25 or 30.   140 towns sounds more manageable.

In addition, there are about 40 Connecticut towns with fewer than 5,000 residents each.  If those towns got together and managed strategic mergers in order to create political subdivisions of no fewer than 25,000 people, we could lop another 30 towns off the list, leaving something in the range of 110 Connecticut towns.

“And why” you ask, “should I care about reducing the number of towns in a quest?”   I’m glad you asked.   Without more, here are the top ten reasons why questers would want to reduce their list from 169 to 110 towns.

10. Burn less gasoline and reduce Connecticut’s carbon footprint.

9. Reduce obesity by eating less ice cream.

8. Stop wasting time looking for a golf course in Voluntown.

7. More time for pickle ball.

6. Less drunk driving.

5. Discourage child labor in Asia by wearing out fewer running shoes.

4. Hello! cider mills.

3. Relieve traffic congestion on I-84 in western Connecticut.

2. Discourage the proliferation of micro-breweries.

And the number 1 reason questers want fewer towns:

1. More time for quests in the 301 towns in Massachusetts.

Thanks for reading!


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